Local priest reacts to the bishop’s death

SELINSGROVE — Following the sudden death of Bishop Joseph McFadden Thursday morning, a local priest is remembering the time he spent with him last week in Selinsgrove. Father Dan Powell said Bishop McFadden was at St. Pius for the confirmation of 8th grade students on Friday night.

Powell said, “He was in great spirits. He seemed normal. He didn’t seem unhealthy at all and didn’t seem concerned about anything or have anything heavy on his heart. I just got a letter from him today thanking me for the confirmation and how nice it was. So, that was very strange to open that letter and then get the news that he had passed away.”

Father Powell said McFadden was a dedicated bishop. He said, “He came in and he wasn’t afraid to take a hard look at different things in the diocese and where things needed to be changed or where things could be done better. He was very energetic. He loved to be in the parishes. ”

Powell continued, “The confirmations we just had was only 26 students, but Bishop McFadden preferred to have the smaller numbers so it wasn’t as big, so he could be more personal with the kids.”

Bishop McFadden was 65 years old. He died unexpectedly while attending a meeting of the Catholic Bishops of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. The diocese says he awoke feeling ill and was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead around 7:40 Thursday morning. A funeral will be held next week. (Ali Stevens)


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